Tatar shurpa

by Olia Hercules

A lamb soup to bridge the gap between winter and spring

This is often a campfire dish, done by the riverside. But I often make it in my kitchen. It’s a perfect dish for weather where you still need warmth and nourishment, but are ready for fresh flavours.


2 lamb shanks (or lots of lamb bones)
1 large onion, skin on
2 carrots, scrubbed
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 carrot, scrubbed, cut into rounds
2 tomatoes, grated or chopped
1 red chilli, sliced
1 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (save some leaves for garnish)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt


Start by making a stock. Pop the lamb, onion, carrots and celery into a large pot with 4 litres of cold water, season lightly with salt and bring to the boil. Skim off the froth and lower the heat right down. Simmer for a couple of hours or until the lamb is soft and falls off the bone. Make sure the meat is always covered by water. If too much water evaporates, just top up with some cold water, skimming the fat off the top.

When the stock is ready, strain it into a large bowl, reserving the meat. Get rid of the vegetables— their work is done.

Pull the meat off the bone and put it back into the pot, along with the stock. Add the red pepper, carrot, tomatoes and red chilli and cook for 5-7 mins. Season well.

Blitz the garlic, coriander and salt in a food processor, adding a little bit of the hot stock to help it blend into a smooth paste. Either stir this through the Tatar shurpa or serve it on the side.

Serve with some extra coriander sprinkled on top.

Recipe: Olia Hercules
Images: Kim Lightbody